An overflow field of 16 passed the entry box for the 12th running of the Pete Axthelm Stakes Saturday to be contested over 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf at Calder Race Course. Only 12 3-year-olds will be allowed to start.
Double S Stable, Preferred Pals Stables, and Edwin Wachtel will send out their gelding Dashboard Drummer, winner of a Nov. 7 allowance contest over the track at 1 1/8 miles. The son of Alamocitos won the Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes at Prairie Meadows and the Sapling Stakes (gr. III) at Belmont at two before running a distant third in the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) behind Birdstone and Chapel Royal.Bred in Oklahoma by Bob Pogue and Paulette Pogue, and trained by Allen Iwinski, Dashboard Drummer posted a second and a third in his only earlier tries on the grass this year, and will carry 119 pounds from post 10 with Eddie Castro aboard. A sharp work (4f, fast, 49.40) Nov. 24 at Calder should give his backers some confidence at the windows.Team Block's Illinois homebred Fort Prado has a pair of statebred stakes to his credit this year at Arlington Park and appears to be one to reckon with heading out of post 7. David Block bred the son of El Pradowho finished a very game second in the Storm Cat Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 10, beaten just a length by Good Reward, winner of the recent Hollywood Park Derby (gr. IT). Trainer Elliott Walden takes over the services from Chris Block, and veteran Jose Santos is set to get on the gray colt for the first time. Fort Prado also put in a nice work (5f, fast, 1:03.80) on the Calder grass Nov. 27. Both Fort Prado and Dashboard Drummer drop back a bit in distance from their usual routes of a mile or more. Fort Prado will shoulder the same 119.Two Calder-based stakes winning entrants: Silver Diamonds Thoroughbred's Wire Bound; and Veranda Farm's Caballero Negro, should add some spice to the affair from the 12th and ninth posts respectively. A son of Hesabull, Wire Bound drew away by 4 3/4 lengths in the Sir Omni stakes over the Calder turf Sept. 25 and has held tough company since then, including the likes of Eddington while running fourth in the Calder Derby (gr. III) Oct. 23.Bred in Florida by Live Oak Stud, Wire Bound will carry 122 and retains the services of Eduardo Nunez.By Formal Gold, Caballero Negro captured the Silver Season Stakes at seven furlongs on the main track at Calder Aug. 7, and was just ahead of Wire Bound in the Calder Derby while third.Formal Gold Partnerships bred Caballero Negro in Kentucky. Trainer Mario Morales will send the gelding out with jockey Manoel Cruz.Mrs. Bertram Firestone's son of Grand Slam, Grand Heritage, winner of the Patterson Stakes at Meadowlands Oct. 8 and trained by Bill Mott will carry 122 pounds and jockey Cornelio Velasquez from the rail post.Pete Axthelm Stakes, 3-year-olds, 7 1/2 furlongs, Turf, $100,000, Saturday, Dec. 11. Appx. Post Time 3:31 PM EDT.PP -- Horse, weight, jockey1--Grand Heritage, 122, Cornelio Velasquez 2--Frisky Spider, 122, Eddie King 3--Soverign Honor, 122, Manuel Aguilar 4--Caiman, 119, Herberto Castillo 5--Heart of Jules, 119, Omar Klinger 6--Quackers Appeal, 119, Sebastian Madrid 7--Fort Prado, 119, Jose Santos 8--Gin Rummy Champ, 117, Gary Boulanger 9--Caballero Negro, 119, Manoel Cruz 10--Dashboard Drummer, 119, Eddie Castro 11--More Bourb, 117, Abdiel Toribio 12--Wire Bound, 122, Eduardo Nunez AE--Titanius, 117, Cornelio Velasquez AE--Nightmare Affair, 117, Aurelio Toribio Jr. AE--Bankruptcy Court, 115, Christopher DeCarlo AE--Old Forester, 115, Eibar Coa